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1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface roll half the dough at a time to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake ifor 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. If desired, frost with Powdered Sugar Icing. Let stand until set.
1. In a large mixing bowl stir together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cream of tartar. Add the water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined; beat on high speed for 7 to 10 minutes or until icing reaches a stiff piping consistency. If not using right away, cover bowl with a damp paper towel and cover paper towel with plastic wrap; chill for up to 48 hours.
1. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla or almond extract, and enough milk to make smooth and of drizzling consistency. Makes about 1/2 cup.